Monday, September 12, 2011

Grape Jelly

When we went apple picking a couple of weeks ago, I had heard that the orchard also had grapes. But, I did not know what kind of grapes nor what time of the year was their peak for picking.

Living in Colorado, for a few years, I had a friend who had a concord grape vine in her backyard and we would pick and make the best grape jelly I've ever had. But, after she moved - concord grapes have been hard to come by for the past decade plus.

Upon arriving at the apple orchard, we gathered all of our info as to which apples were ready for picking and where the various varieties were located throughout the orchard. I inquired about the grapes and yes, they were concord and ready for picking! Oh. my. I was so excited!

To be at the apple orchard was such a treat for me and I had the very best day - but this was truly an extra blessing on our visit!

I picked and brought home about six pounds which made enough juice for my jelly plus just a small bit for drinking.

That night when we returned home, the girls helped me de-stem the grapes and I made the juice that very night! I didn't want to risk putting this off and losing these grapes that I've had such trouble finding!

Just in case you stumble upon some concord grapes and want to try your own jelly - here's my favorite way to make it.

Wash, de-stem and remove seeds (if yours have seeds, these did not) 14 c. concord grapes. Put in a pan with 2 c. water. Cover. Heat to boiling; cook slowly until very tender; about 30 minutes. At this point your house will smell a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or muslin. Let juice stand 24 hours in the fridge and strain again. Isn't it a pretty color?

Mix 5 c. juice and 1 package pectin. Boil on high until the boiling doesn't stop when stirred. Add 7 c. sugar and stir quickly. Boil exactly 1 minute.

Remove from heat and pour into jars. My batch made four and a half pints.

Invert jars or water bath can to seal. My preferred method for jam and jelly is just to invert the jars until the lids get nice and hot and then flip them over. All of my jars sealed just doing this.

Homemade grape jelly!


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering...could we also run the softened grapes through a food mill to capture the pulp? Have you ever done this to make jam? I'm wondering if this would work. Great post, Monica.

LynnMarie said...

You just put the top and rings on and turn the jar over on the counter? Really, thats all! I never heard of that but boy do I like simple and this sounds as simple as it can be. Thanks so much. It works for all jams and jellies too? You are a blessing today!

Mary Ann said...

My parents had grapes and would always make grape juice and grape jelly. We drank the juice (canned) all year long. I don't think any of us kids were that fond of the grape jelly but apparently, it's pretty good since other people went crazy for it and Mom would give it as gifts every year!

Chris said...

We made wild scuppernong jelly last week. Oh my -- so good. They are native to the Carolinas, so keep an eye out for those.
LynnMarie, I am paranoid about canning safety, so I do water bath can all jams and jellies. If you haven't canned before, check out the Center for Home Food Preservation for instructions: That's my go-to site for recipes.

*carrie* said...

More power to ya! I would never do this. =)

I was so excited because we drove right past an orchard on our way home from the retreat, and the other ladies were willing to stop. I picked up a ten-pound bag of Zestar apples. I'd never heard of that variety, but they won the sampling taste test hands-down! Yay!

I'm not going to mess with sauce this year. We'll just enjoy eating them fresh, and I'll probably make a dessert or two.

Jill said...

This looks lovely. I was offered some grapes last week and now I know what to do with them! Except I'm nervous about your not boiling your jars after you fill them. I think your method is called Open Kettle Canning- I learned last month in a canning class that even if it seals it doesn't mean it is safe and this method isn't recommended- unless you are going to freeze or refridgerate. Be careful! And thanks again for posting this- can't wait to can some next week. God bless!

Wendi said...

I made a batch a few weeks ago. Good stuff!

angie said...

Canning intimidates me, but I would be willing to try the inverted jar method to get the lids to seal. I never heard of that before.
The color of that grape juice is amazing--nothing like what is sold in the store.
My grandmother made jams and jellies from any berry she could find. I sure wish I had spent some time as her kitchen apprentice.

Jennifer said...

Wow this looks so easy! I want to make grape jelly now :)

Ami said...

All I can think of is that beautiful pitcher of grape juice falling off the fence post!


Melissa said...

Yum, indeed! Love the pictures.

Blissful & Domestic said...

This looka so yummy!

More than Survival said...

I made grape jam last week, too!! I agree with you it really does make the house smell amazing! :) I am also a little crazy about food safety so I water bath can all my jam... however I know people that do it your way without any problem. I am blessed with a neighbor that has more grapes than she knows what to do with... I was able to make 20 pints this year! Your pictures are beautiful! I never even think to take pictures while I am in the middle of projects... let alone take such beautiful ones!!

More than Survival said...

oh.... also, my concord grapes had seeds... I didn't worry about taking them out... when you strain the juice the seeds are collected then.

Mom said...

Great photos documenting your jelly making -- and I know you'll enjoy your delicious grape jelly all winter (or however long it lasts)! Love you, Mom

Patty said...

More than 20 years ago I made my first batch of grape jelly with grapes I purchased when we drove through Missouri. The jelly was so good I could no longer eat store jelly. Since that time finding grapes has been a chore; in my area grapes are grown for the purpose of making wine.
So, in order to keep making homemade grape jelly I began buying pure grape juice from the heath food store. It works perfectly and tastes just like I used fresh grapes.